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Small Shop Takes on Big Jobs Thanks to New Lathe that Enables Unattended Machining

Pioneer Machine Co., a three man job shop, switched to unattended machining with the acquisition of a Eurotech SwissTurn auto lathe. "We're getting huge jobs done, even when no one is physically here."

"We're in a whole different ballgame now," says Mike Bellone, owner and Vice President of Pioneer Machine, when explaining how the Eurotech SwissTurn Zeit 42SLY-B has helped his business. "The jobs we're processing now with this equipment we were unable to even attempt before."

The Eurotech SwissTurn Zeit is an 8 axis Swiss type auto lathe with fully programmable B-axis for cutting on the main and sub spindle.

 

 

Mike describes his company, Pioneer Machine, as a small, three-man job shop; he and his business partner founded the company fifteen years ago now located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 40 miles west of Pittsburgh. "This is a geographic region where we're heavily into mining, so we serve that industry a great deal, plus we serve the electronics and nuclear sectors as well."

"We've grown exponentially since we first started," Bellone observes. "We have seven pieces of CNC equipment and we're busy all the time. However, our small size previously held us to a limit as far as the size of jobs we could do. We would do prototypes before of 100-200 parts, but we couldn't do large jobs cost effectively. To get those bigger jobs, we needed to get equipment which gave us more automation. That's the direction things are moving in today for companies like ours--the more you can do without human intervention that raises your profits. We knew we needed automated equipment that was versatile, with multi-axis, something that could handle standard turning and also do complete machining of more complex pieces."

Parts run complete, unmanned, on the Eurotech Swiss Turn Zeit at Pioneer.

 

 

The Eurotech SwissTurn Zeit is an 8 axis Swiss type auto lathe with fully programmable B-axis for cutting on the main and sub spindle; it accepts any major brand guide bushing and collet; easy conversion from guide bushing to non guide bushing; plus many additional features that come standard:

Bellone explains that Pioneer Machine heard "good word-of-mouth about Eurotech." Deciding to follow up on what he had heard, Mike flew to Florida to visit a facility that had a few Eurotech SwissTurn Zeit 42SLY-B machines.

"The quality of the machine (SwissTurn Zeit) and what it turned out impressed me," says Bellone.

 

 

"We bought the machine so we can run unmanned and lights out. With this SwissTurn lathe, the parts process runs complete, unmanned in just one operation. We're getting huge jobs done, even when no one is physically here," said Bellone.

As an example, he cites a recent project which involved a run of 30,000 parts. Pioneer's Eurotech machine ran nonstop for approximately 20 days to complete the job. "This was a project we would not have even bid on before" Bellone notes. "The only way we could have handled a job this size previously would have been if we could subcontract it out and the only shop near us capable of that volume is so busy that they have a 3-month backlog, so we would have lost out in terms of turnaround time."

Mike Bellone, Owner of Pioneer, was recently in a motorcycle accident. Despite the accident, Mike was able to keep things going by doing a minimum amount of programming and set-ups, then letting the machines run unmanned so he could recover.

 

 

 

 

Bellone describes his experience with Eurotech as "very positive" citing not only the high quality and reliability of the machine but also the helpfulness of Eurotech employees. "Eurotech's level of service and their knowledge about what the machines can accomplish (their capabilities), and their understanding of the needs of small shops like ours impressed me a great deal." He states that he hopes to purchase another Eurotech SwissTurn in the future and that he is already reviewing information on other products. "We're very happy with the machine we bought. It has brought us to a whole new level as far as the kind of jobs we can do."

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SwissTurn Zeit 32SYB

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